Tuesday, 26 September 2006

David F. Ford on the eucharist

In the eucharist, “the realm of the ordinary has been taken up and involved in the most momentous events without rejection, contrast or competition between the two. There is no middle ground needed, no mediating of the ordinary to the extraordinary. The God who is implied by the blessing of these elements is at home with matter and its routine usage as well as with the climactic drama of Jesus’ life. This integrates the sphere of the ordinary with the historically significant.”

—David F. Ford, Self and Salvation: Being Transformed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), p. 150.

8 Comments:

WTM said...

I would very much like to know more about what Ford means by the phrase, "There is...no mediating of the ordinary to the extraordinary."

Aaron G said...

Thanks, Ben, for this great quote.

I'm in the middle of preparing a sermon on how common, ordinary things are the conduit of grace. We celebrate with average stuff like bread: the "bread of life" not the “enchanting fairy dust of life."

Ben Myers said...

Hi Aaron -- well said!

Hi WTM. In part, Ford is offering a theological critique of certain kinds of ritualism. In the same paragraph, he goes on to say: "there is a low-key homeliness and intimacy about the Last Supper that has always acted as a resource for critique of the ritual embellishments of tradition.... The main thrust is towards blessing the ordinary, and if ritual ... Threatens to function as a middle ground and develops a dynamic that fails to refer one insistently back to the transformation of the ordinary, then this critical resource can be activated."

arvid said...

Ford is one of my favourites, no doubt about that.

kim fabricius said...

Pardon the pun, but Ford is indeed one of the Rolls-Royce's of British theologians!

churchpundit said...

I wholeheartedyly agree with Ford. I must get the book to get his whole argument. But the sense I get is that the eucharist, the Last Supper, is completely in keeping with the whole life and ministry of Jesus, which pulls us down into the ordinary, roots us to the earth, reminds us of death, while at the same time filling these things with the holy and with resurrection life. thus spoke churchpundit!

John P. said...

Hey Ben,
have you read the preceding book in this series by Alastair McFadyen titled "Bound To Sin"? I read part of it for a course on theological anthropology last year and thought it was fantastic...havent had time to move on to Ford's yet, though.

Ben Myers said...

Hi John -- thanks for the tip. No, I haven't read this one yet, so I'll have to get to it. There certainly aren't many good books around on the topic of sin!

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